How I learned to love the witch hunt

How I learned to love the witch hunt
© Getty Images

I am learning to love Russiagate, not in a romantic way, but a sort of love nonetheless. What was once a conspiracy theory that ate at the roots of civil society and threatened to undermine a presidency is now just a good punchline. I used to look forward to each new trumped up “bombshell” with guarded concern, clicking each exaggerated headline with bated breath to see what spin the media would impart on the latest revelation.

Since special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE turned in his report, however, I have the exact opposite attitude. Each new Russia story brings a new level of befuddlement to the hoaxers who misled the American people for more than two years, and makes the Obama White House look increasingly like the Keystone Cops, as the previous administration apparently knew about all the Russian meddling in the 2016 election but did nothing to stop it.


I would never say the investigation was totally worth it, but some of the desperate gasping amuses me to such a degree that sometimes I briefly forget just how outrageous the conduct of these conspiracy theorists was. My personal favorite is John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller MORE, who was CIA director under President Obama. He has been riding the Russiagate train harder than any other resistance grifter, earning himself a regular gig on MSNBC, more than 600,000 Twitter followers, and the adulation of his establishment peers. His reaction to the debunking of the “collusion” myth was to continue pretending nothing happened. It is utterly shameless.

That MSNBC would continue to give Brennan a national platform after he traded on his supposed insider knowledge to push a conspiracy theory on the American people is bad enough. But the network would not even challenge him for saying there is “extensive” information on collusion in a report that literally said the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government.”

His fellow MSNBC contributor show host Nicole Wallace was no better, opening with the suggestion that the media should twist the findings of the investigation to keep Russiagate rolling pretty much no matter what it says. “If there is even a reference to the Trump campaign unwittingly aiding the Russian effort to interfere, that should be the banner headline,” Wallace told viewers ahead of the release of the special counsel report.

Then there is James ClapperJames Robert ClapperTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Conservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe MORE, who was director of national intelligence under President Obama. Since leaving his government post, he has taken part of center stage at CNN. In his feeble mind, the conclusion of the report that there was no “active collusion” confirms that there was instead “passive collusion.” This is a statement so meaningless that it can only be regarded as laugh line in the ongoing sitcom played out by the left.

Should we really expect anything different from these people? Their commitment to the lie never wavered when the Senate Intelligence Committee failed to find any evidence of collusion. Why should they equivocate now just because their special counsel hero shot down the idea once and for all? Even the liberal news outlets whose reporting was contradicted by the report are unrepentant. BuzzFeed at least had enough decency to issue some corrections. But it had never really apologized or admitted it did anything wrong when it kept insisting the president of the United States committed a felony by ordering Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenSenior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job New York attorneys subpoena eight years of Trump tax returns: report Eric Holder says Trump is subject to prosecution after leaving office MORE to lie.

Any of these outrages would have caused me a headache a year ago, aghast at a media so out of control and detached from the truth. Now I just laugh and let them wallow in their delusions. Their assertions are now so unrelated to reality that they only bring me amusement. I am not alone. Today, 94 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents have lost faith in the media. It is only the hardcore of the left, the people Russiagate was aimed at in the first place, who are still so entranced.

The one bright spot in the whole story is actually the black hole at the center of the special counsel report. It is the origins of the Christopher Steele dossier. Somehow Mueller, a trained professional investigator, ignored that obvious question. Mueller never addressed the payments by the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonQueer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement Poll: Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Florida Former immigration judge fined, temporarily banned from federal service for promoting Clinton policies MORE campaign and the Democratic National Committee to Fusion GPS, which paid Steele to create this artifact in order to drive the collusion narrative that actually led to the special counsel investigation.

How is that even possible? It is a big plot hole in this otherwise comedic fantasy that someone will have to resolve. The witch hunt for collusion exposed the bias and corruption of the liberal media to such an extent that these outlets and networks are finally becoming the national laughing stocks that they have long deserved to be. Like I said, I have learned to love Russiagate, almost as much as Hogan’s Heroes. But just almost.

Tony Shaffer is a retired senior intelligence operations officer who served with the United States Army. He is now the president of the London Center for Policy Research and an adviser to the 2020 campaign of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE.